Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Writing—but not

This past weekend I was up a little early for a Saturday. I could tell Lynda was in the deepest part of her sleep cycle, and likely wouldn't be up for a while. My desktop computer, which is where I do most of my volume writing, was at the medic (still is) for an operating system transplant and other related computer health issues. All that was available for me to type on was the Dell Inspiron laptop. I don't much like typing on this, or any, laptop. But the house was quiet, I didn't have a lot of outside work to do, so I decided to write away.

I began by rereading a good chunk of the last two chapters I'd written, making a few edits as I went. I took note of two fill-in scenes that were needed. One was already marked as to subject, the other wasn't. What had I intended there? My plans were to read the novel during the weekend, so I put aside trying to figure out what that scene would be and set to writing new material.

An hour and a half later, when Lynda was up and I was reaching a good stopping point, I had about 1,800 words written. That was a good output for that much time, I reckoned. And on a laptop, not a desktop! I was quite pleased, and went outside for my home maintenance tasks, clearing a mound of oak pollen from gutter shields, driveway, and sidewalk; weeding in the rock front yard; clearing deadfall sticks from the front yard; sweeping the garage. Maybe a few more tasks.

After this was lunch. I knew I should walk after that, but all the up and down ladder work getting to the gutters had me tuckered out. I laid my head back in my reading chair and fell asleep. It was only a short nap, and I was ready for the next thing. Lynda was at the laptop, but that was okay, as I thought I should get to my reading. I went to the Florida room, ensconced with my printed manuscript, a box of crackers, and coffee. Two or three hours later I was 100 pages into the 237 page manuscript. I was reading for the purpose of refreshing my mind on the plot. However, if I found a typo I marked it (about 5); if I saw a place indicated for more information I supplied it (if I could); if I encountered awkward wording I edited it.

The evening gave me no chance to get to either writing or manuscript reading, between preparing to teach Life Group lesson the next day and reading aloud with Lynda. Sunday began with church, lunch, and my 3.1 miles walk. After a brief cool-down I was back in the room and at work reading. By 6:30 p.m. I had the full manuscript read and marked, and a pretty good idea of where the plot needed to go. I even had the subject of that other fill-in scene identified.

Alas, Monday night gave me no time to work on the text. Still no desktop so sharing the laptop. We were reading A Study In Scarlet aloud, and were within striking distance of finishing it, so we did. Tonight, hopefully, I'll get back to the writing. When I left off Saturday I was a little over 70,000 total words, with 1,500 of them in what I call the book ending section. I had been thinking all along that this book would be 70,000 to 80,000 words, with the ending section taking up 15,000 to 20,000 of those. I'm not too far off, it seems. Right now I'd guess it will come in around 85,000 words, perhaps a little higher. That will be slightly shorter than the predecessor book, In Front of Fifty Thousand Screaming People.

The end is in sight. But I've said that before. I really hoped to have it published by now. Alas, I'm a month or two away still. But it's inching closer. Ideas have gelled for the front cover, and some are starting to come for the back cover.

Yes, the end is in sight.

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